Give me paper to appease my soul and passion to fill my inkwell,
give me life flushed from living and drained from loving.
Give me pens, of many colors each one a speckle of my essence.
Give me a living canvas, breathing my air and tasting my spirit,
dust it in golden sun rays and ice it in moon beams to
sweeten the hidden depths of sin. Give me crumpled
edges and torn corners, ink blots and strike through’s.
Give me an endless ream with pause breaks for tears
and laughter lines tearing the core. Give me a hb pencil.
Chewed at one end and blunt, let it write my heart with
the smoothest of ease, love spilling through graphite,
lust splitting paper, let desire become the heavy lines
and fear the faint whisper of grey on white. Yes, give me
paper, a canvas, a living body to embody my soul upon.
Karen Hayward ©2017
Image and words.
If people could see what they leak,
the way their emotions flow through
the atmosphere. The tears they
refuse to cry.
The pain they lock away for
a darker day.
It all leaks.
It skips across the breath of some,
dances through the mind of others.
Seeps into me.
If people could hear what their eyes say,
what the pause between their words tells me.
If people knew what they leak.
The excitement that flutters in my stomach with an unknown cause,
The heart that breaks over and over,
pain caught in my throat.
The fear, oh the fear that fills our souls that seeps from the psych invisible to
the naked eye.
If people knew what they leak.
They’d understand why I seek solitude,
why my mind is so very open
to the possibilities.
If people knew what they leak they would know why it is I am open and closed in a single heart beat.
Karen Hayward © 2016.
Cold, wet earth.
Grey clouds and droplets of rain.
Daffodils already through, garden readying anew. Transformation begins. Vibrational reflections felt, heard and required.
Even in winter, I come here when tired.
Damp dirt to awaken my spirit.
Life’s cycle, clearance nearing completion.
Spring will bring new hope.
Karen Hayward ©2016.
Restriction of blood flow
a torrent of thoughts
with no place to go.
Limitations of reality
a soul destroying fatality.
Confinement. Confine me
within your walls of conformity
displayed in crimson
blood against the walls
I am circumscribed by your delusional
the inbred specialities
Karen Hayward ©2015.
Ironing. For years I refused to be a slave to the mould of hot steaming iron. I refused to smooth away the crinkles, press creases and stand in the ultimate housewife position. Legs spread, board out, piles upon piles of stylistic statements before me, all of them requiring attention, all of them requiring me to become the atypical label. A housewife, a wife a mother, a female, a girl a lady. We iron.
We stand for hours, up the board, down the board, bored, bored, bored. You were in or you out. I was out. I was the black death of womanhood my views contagious, my opinion death like. So I ironed less and welcomed my self induced plague.
I iron. I became the label that society imposed on me. Sickened by my acceptance I remove my bra in protest.
Karen Hayward ©2015.
The feeling creeps in slowly.
Panic, as I flip through once, twice, three times. I search the normal places, beside the bed, the couch, at the top of the stairs, by the window in the kitchen next to the heater, the window that shows me the sun as he wakes and the moon as she wakes. It’s not there and not even the sparkling stars in the clear skies can make me feel better. I search inside bags and tucked beneath the mattress, I pull out the bed and feel my heart sink, my eyes prickle and for a moment I question my sanity. What if. What if I didn’t own that book, what if I just borrowed it, that would certainly make sense and suddenly it feels like my world is crashing, I just want to read the book, now, I search some more determined to be sure that the book is at least not here. Emptiness envelopes around me, darkness falls upon my heart, I feel a great void where a story should be, not any story and certainly not a recall from the many times I have read it before, a void created through the lack of pages to turn, the lack of worn out paper in my hands. The emptiness has become me.
Karen Hayward 2015. ©
The whole flat smelt
of aged tannin and
a low whistle could
be heard at all times.
There was always time for tea, sarnies too.
You might call her a feeder, she wasn’t but some might call her that.
Food was a sign of respect, you went anywhere they offered you sweet tea
and food. I used a cooker
for the first time there
in that kitchen with
windows that looked
down the hill past the subways and out toward mountains, my Gran always laughed and said ‘Just a coupla wee hills.’ They were mountains to my young
eyes. She spoke constantly
in her rich Irish roots peppered with her Scottish life, if I concentrated hard enough my English mind understood
some of what she said.
Her voice was soft,
a whisper a beautiful
melody, she spoke as I grated potatoes, carrots and onion, her smile told me I was doing good. ‘Eggs, Gran and flour and water too.’ I was reading thr recipe from my mind and hoping I had remembered everything, we had cooked them a few weeks before in school.
She wears a house coat,
she has many, a blue one,
a pink one a brown one,
every morning she slips it over her clothes, I have never seen her clothes, I can only presume she wears them. She told me once, ‘wash your smalls in the sink every
night. That way you’ve always got clean.’ I asked what if you needed them…’she laughed ‘Go with out.’
A frying pan black as death and thick with grease
sizzles at my side.
My Mum also says this phrase.
‘When you cook, you cook. Stay sharp keep thoughts out’
I didn’t listen, I burn most of what I cook because my thoughts make me
wander. We sat at
the table, the small
window behind me
and the radiator to
my left, I feel warm
and safe. I don’t
recall what the
food tasted like,
just her smile as she devoured the plate.
Karen Hayward ©2015.
There is a fierce fire that burns inside my soul,
hidden in the dark forgotten corners of my mind.
Engulfed with the flames of hell venom rises as my innocence is lost in the beating of my racing heart.
One becomes two as I watch with the calm of an ebbing tide, word upon word, truth upon truth tumble from my worn out tongue into the universe. All barriers down, this game of chess belongs to me, make her a pawn then watch me as I take your Queen and destroy your King and precious Kingdom. There’s a fierce fire that burns inside my soul, a flame of burning hope and eternal protection, the fallen angels reflection.
Karen Hayward ©2105.
Zadkiel I call upon thee now to give clarity to a final deed, did I turn my back on a soul in need? Is forgiveness the acceptance of even the broken, no matter how harsh their words spoken? Must I forgive time and time again whilst they sprinkle down hatred that fills me with pain?
Zadkiel, can I forgive, forget and move on? Can I forget the shock in their voice as I questioned their choice? Was I wrong, should I have remained strong? Am I not her protector, is it not my duty to shield her? Was it selfish, did I put her ahead of their needs when they are so desperately in search of the broken seed? Zadkiel, I am lost and in fear, I searched for you but could not see you near. The words flowed with surprising ease as I watched her fall to her knee’s. Her beliefs torn apart, her thoughts questioned she stumbled upon lies a clouded darkness fell upon her eye’s. Chance and chance again, Zadkiel, I gave in and before my eye’s grey scale fell and I saw as I never seen before,
and now her role within, is no more. Zadkiel, I ask for clarity and forgiveness reserved for the strong, is my heart right? Did I do no wrong?
Karen Hayward © 2015.
The conservation of energy so that I may survive,
a colony of destruction no shadows in which to hide.
Darkness fell and flames flared,
the corruption of memories never truly shared.
Oblivion denied frolicking with hate,
an illusion of pretence to celebrate.
Automated response clicked into place,
I wonder if I can wander without leaving a trace.
Silence erupts from the neck of brown glass,
repetition the new pattern learnt from the past.
I’ll sit for a moment take heed of the day,
before resting my body in the bed where I lay.
I’ll look to the window where the moon does glow,
I’ll ask her to help me so that I may grow.
I’ll speak with the angels and beg them for strength,
Metatron will show me in my dreams at great length.
I’ll listen to the silence as it screams into life,
Piercing reality like a sharpened knife.
No words I will say and you know this is true,
You’ve trampled my dreams
and I have nothing new.
Karen Hayward 2015©.